What If I am in an Accident With My Rental Car in Santa Barbara?

January 31, 2022

A claim involving a car accident while driving a rental car in California is slightly different than a claim involving an accident that occurred while driving your own car. This primary reason for this is that while a rental agreement entitles you to drive the car and physically possess it for the term of your lease, the rental car company still owns the car that you rented.

In addition, accident claims involving rental cars usually involve multiple parties and insurance providers. This is especially true if the accident was a result of another driver’s negligence.

Pursuing Compensation From a Negligent Driver

If you get hurt in a crash because of another driver’s negligent acts while driving a rental car, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation for your accident-related losses. Your losses can include damage to the rental car and compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, among others.

However, you must first notify the rental car agency about the accident and follow the instructions outlined in your lease agreement if you get into an accident while driving the leased car. Your personal auto insurance will likewise need to pay for the damage to the car. You can seek reimbursement for this in your personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

At this point, a Santa Barbara car accident attorney with experience handling personal injury claims involving rental cars can determine the best course of action to make sure that you receive compensation for your damages. Your attorney can also make sure that you fulfill all the terms and conditions of your rental agreement and determine the specific damages you are entitled to recover from the liable driver.

Likewise, your attorney can sort through all the insurance policies that you can pursue compensation from. And because insurance providers are notorious for tricking injured claimants to settle for less than what their claim is truly worth, your attorney will handle all the discussions and negotiations with all the involved insurers and their lawyers, ensuring that you obtain the compensation you really deserve.

When The Rental Car Company is Liable

In case the rental car company had anything to do with the accident, you can hold it liable for the accident. Your attorney can prove that it violated their duty of care to its client. For example, the company can be held liable if it failed to properly maintain its rental cars or if it rents out cars that have known defects or have been recalled and the renters get in an accident while driving those cars.

Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Santa Barbara

Did you get hurt while driving a rental car in Santa Barbara? The law firm of Bamieh & De Smeth can get you the financial compensation that will cover all your damages. Discuss your case with our experienced Santa Barbara car accident attorney by setting up a free case consultation. Call 805-643-5555 or send us an online message for more information.